Life and Style Shaken, not stirred: a pre-dinner martini

The aperitif is back, the aperitif is in. At Simon Rogan's joint in the Midland Hotel, Manchester, a guy in a bomber jacket breaks off a conversation with his date, "I'll have Just a Splash – that cocktail with Aperol and Prosecco," he says to the barman.

Immigrants who cannot speak English have no way of being a 'full member' of British society, Eric Pickles said

Non-English speakers may lose benefits, says Eric Pickles

Immigrants who cannot speak English have no way of being a “full member” of British society, Eric Pickles said on Sunday, amid suggestions benefits could be stripped from those who do not learn the language.

Book review: "Entry Island" by Peter May

Author Peter May is masterful at making a little go a long way. His acclaimed Lewis trilogy spun three tales of murder and mystery from the unpromising prospects afforded by the Outer Hebrides. In Entry Island, May once again mines this rich Hebridean seam for nuggets; the only difference being that the crime is in the distant past, during the notorious clearances in which profit-hungry landlords brutally removed settled communities from their estates in the Highlands and Islands to replace them with sheep.

Romanians landing at Luton Airport were surprised to be greeted by Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz. However, many Britons have been heading out in the opposite direction.

As EU work restrictions are lifted for Romanian and Bulgarian migrants, the influx has begun... of Britons heading for Bucharest

Many Romanians were put off moving to the UK because of its increasingly racist rhetoric

Saudi royal may face execution for murder

A Saudi prince who murdered a fellow Saudi may be executed, a newspaper reported on Sunday, in a rare example of a member of the kingdom’s ruling family facing the death penalty.

Sir Michael Wilshaw said luck governs pupils’ fortunes

All seven and 14-year-olds must take exams, says Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw

Sir Michael calls for tests abolished almost a decade ago to be reinstated amid concerns over standards in maths and English

Manorfield Primary School went from an ‘inadequate’ rating to ‘outstanding’ in one year, one of the quickest turnarounds ever seen by inspectors

From fail to world’s best: A lesson from the East End

What can we learn from the remarkable 15-year turnaround at Tower Hamlets’ schools?

Why yous are less and less likely to be having a barm for your tea: The Southern way of speaking is spreading say researchers...

Study into 'Language Variation and Change' conducted by the University of Manchester reveals spread of Southern words

King Philippe ascended to the throne in July 2013 after his father abdicated for health reasons

King of Belgium has used powers to pardon 11 people for driving offences in just five months

The King has been forced to apologise following the revelation which came a day before huge a 130 car pile up in the country

Domino's delivery man quits after workers told to only speak English

A man has left his job with Domino's over what he described as an “offensive” sign prohibiting staff from using any language other than English in the workplace.

Roberto Soldado has scored three goals in his first two matches for Tottenham

Roberto Soldado admits disappointment with form since £26m switch to Tottenham

The striker has failed to sparkle after a promising start at White Hart Lane

'Selfie' beats 'twerk' to be named word of 2013 by Oxford Dictionaries

'Selfie' beat 'twerk' and 'binge-watch' to be chosen as the word of the year

Robson Green in ITV's Tales From Northumberland

TV review: Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green, ITV

“Everything that makes Britain great can be found right here in Northumberland,” announced Robson Green at the start of his new ITV series, Tales from Northumberland. It was a bold claim – do they even have a Nando's? – but this proud son of Hexham is so enthusiastic about the land that stretches from north of Newcastle to the Scottish border that we should give him the chance to prove it. And while Robson takes an eight-week trip around his home county, his accent will apparently be roving the length and breadth of the nation. Last night it took in West Kensington and Tyneside, plus a brief stop in County Down.

The way schools are being ranked is to be scrapped by ministers

Controversial GCSE ranking system to be overhauled

Schools will be ranked on pupils' best eight GCSEs in future

Two e-fit images believed by detectives to be of the same man seen in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance

Madeleine McCann search: Man pictured in two police e-fits 'was seen carrying child' on night Madeleine disappeared

More details emerge about the man police want to question ahead of tonight’s special episode of Crimewatch

Rachel Joyce

Matt Butler: The real-life adventures of alpha males – and females

View From The Sofa: Adventure Show, BBC Scotland / /Ironman, ironman.com

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Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
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Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital